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che hedge to be thick at the bottom, which I regard as a great point of excellence; after this, all that remains to be done is to keep it from weeds, and clip it once a year. I consider June as the best time to trim it, as it soonest recovers its beauty at that season. The clipping may be done either with the gardenshears, a hedge-knife, or even with a common scythe."
The adjoining figure will show a pleasing mode of growing a hedge of this species in front of a dwelling, or in enclosing ornamental grounds. As the plants will attain a considerable height, they may be trained over an arch or trellis, and form a beautiful, densely-shaded arbour or walk.
It appears from the above that this species is very eligible for forming hedges, in consequence of its robust and rigid habit of growth. Although it does not make much show, when in flower, yet in autumn and early winter, when profusely covered with black berries, it becomes highly ornamental.
The wood of the Rhamnus catharticus is hard, compact, and of a reddish hue. The juice of the unripe berries has the colour of saffron, and is used for staining paper and maps. They are known in commerce under the name of French berries. The juice of the ripe berries, evaporated to dryness with lime or alum, is the sap-green of painters; but if the berries are gathered late in autumn, their juice is purple. They are strongly purgative, if eaten to the number of twentyfive or thirty, while an ounce of the expressed juice is required to produce the same effect. They were formerly much employed as a cathartic, but the violent operation, and the sickness, griping and thirst occasioned by them, have led to their disuse. The syrup of buckthorn, (syrupus rhamni,) is the only preparation at present employed in Pharmacy. The inner bark of this tree affords a beautiful yellow die, and like that of the common elder, is a strong cathartic, when taken, and excites vomiting.
Derivations. The word Pistacia, is derived from the Greek pistakia, or, according to some, from the Arabic foustag, the name of the true pistachio. Terebinthus is derived from the Greek terebinthos, the name of the Turpentine-tree.
Generic Characters. The sexes are diæcious, and the flowers without petals. In the male plants, the
flowers are disposed in racemes that resemble catkins; every flower is bracteated by a scale; the calex is 5-cleft; and the stamens are 5, inserted into a calycine disk, or into a calyx, and have 4-cornered, almost sessile anthers. In female plants, the flowers are disposed in a raceme, less closely than in the male; the calyx is 3—4-cleft; the ovary is 1–3-celled; the stigmas are three, and thickish; and the fruit is a dry, ovate drupe, the nut of which is rather bony, and usually 1-celled, though sometimes it shows two abortive cells at the side; the cell contains a single seed, which is affixed to the bottom. The cotyledons of the seeds are thick, fleshy, and oily, and bent back upon the radicle. The species are trees with pinnate leaves.-De Candolle, Prodromus.
HE genus Pistacia is chiefly confined to western Asia, southern Europe, and northern Africa. The four principal species are the Pistacia vera or true pistacia; the Pistacia terebinthus or Venetian turpentine-tree, which produces the Venetian and Chian turpentine, used for manufacturing sealing-wax; the Pistacia lentiscus,
or mastic tree, which produces the mastic of commerce; and the Pistacia atlantica, or Mount Atlas turpentine-tree. Mastic and turpentine are regarded as astringent and diuretic; although they retain a place in Materia Medica, they are not much used by modern practitioners. Mastic is employed by the Turkish and Armenian woinen as a masticatory for cleaning their teeth, and for imparting an agreeable odour to their breath. It is also used to fill the cavities of carious teeth.
ou s ro HE True Pistachio, in
attains a height of
Por fifteen or twenty feet, and often, when a mere shrub, produces fruit in five or six years after planting. The trunk is clothed with a grayish bark. The branches are spreading, but not very numerous, and are garnished with winged, alternate leaves, on long petioles. The inflorescence takes place in April and May. The male flowers, which appear first, shoot out from the side of the branches in loose panicles, and are of an herbaceous colour. The female flowers put forth in clusters, in the same manner. The fruit is oval, and about the size of an olive. It is furrowed, of a reddish colour, and contains an oily kernel, mild and agreeable to the taste.
Varieties. According to some authors, the following races are regarded as species; but Du Hamel says that they are by no means entitled to be so considered. They differ only in the size, shape, and consistency of their leaflets.
1. P. v. TRIFOLIA, Loudon. Three-leafleted-leaved Pistachio-tree.
2. P. V. NARBONENSIS, Loudon Narbonne Pistachio-tree. This variety has pinnate leaves, with leaflets having prominent veins. • Geography and History. The Pistacia vera is a native of Syria, Barbary, Persia, and Arabia. It was brought from Syria to Italy by the Emperor Vitellius, in the IId century, and afterwards found its way into the south of France, where it is so far naturalized, as to appear in some places as indigenous. It was
introduced into Britain in 1770, where, in sheltered situations, it will bear the cold of ordinary winters without covering; but, in severe frosts, they are often destroyed. Miller observes that this tree flowers and produces fruit freely in England; but the summers are not warm enough to ripen the nuts. He mentions a tree in Dr. Compton's garden, at Fulham, upwards of forty years old, planted against a wall; and another which had been planted as a standard, in the Duke of Richmond's grounds, at Goodwood, in Sussex, where it had stood many years without the slightest protection.
Soil, Culture, doc. This species will grow in any common garden soil, and may be propagated either from nuts, specially put up abroad, or even from those of commerce, and by cuttings. It is cultivated in the south of France and in Italy for its fruit. As the male flowers appear before those of the female, the Sicilian gardeners, when the trees stand far asunder, pluck bunches of the former, ready to blow, plant them in pots of moist mould, and cause them to remain suspended on the female trees till they have done flowering. This operation is called tuchiarare, and never fails to produce fructification. Sometimes the male buds are ingrafted upon the female trees, in order to produce the same effect. This tree resists a greater degree of cold than either the olive or the almond, and hence is adapted to the climate of many parts of the United States, and doubtless could be cultivated with profit.
Properties and Uses. In commerce, the fruit of this tree is known under the following names and qualities :
1. Aleppo Pistachio-nuts, which may be distinguished by their large size, yellow interior, and usually are shipped with the external shell or husk on. When obtained fresh, these are unquestionably of the best quality known.
2. Tunis Pistachio-nuts. These are small, with a delicate, rose-coloured pulp, and of a clear green interior. They are much sought after by the French confectioners, who manufacture them into sugar-plums, by covering them with sugar or with chocolate, and sell them under the name of diablotins. Creams and ices are also composed of them, coloured green with the juice of spinach.
3. Sicily Pistachio-nuts. These vary much in their size, and may be known by their violet-coloured pulps, and rich, green kernels. They are much used in France in the preparation of sausages and other seasoned meats.
In general, the fruit of this species, is thought to be a fortifier of the stomach, and is taken to ameliorate coughs and rheums. It is frequently used as a dessert,
As an ornamental shrub or low tree, this species is highly deserving of cultivation in the middle and southern sections of the union; and from its singular and beautiful foliage, no conservatory wall should be without it.
Derivations. The name, Rhus, is derived from the Greek thous, or more remotely, from the Celtic word, rhudd, a syno nyme of rud, red; in allusion to the colour of the fruit and leaves of some of the species in autumn. Cotinus is the name of a tree with red wood, described by Pliny, as growing on the Apennines. The other names belong to genera which were supposed by some botanists to include species more properly coming under the head of rhus. Generic Characters. Sexes hermaphrodite, diecious, or polygamous. Calyx small, 5-parted, persistent.
Petals ovate, and inserted into a calycine disk; all of them in the flowers of the male and hermaphrodite sexes bearing anthers. Ovary single, perhaps from defect, sub-globular, of 1 cell. Styles 3, short, or not any. Stigmas 3. Fruit an almost dry drupe of 1 cell, with a bony nut, which includes a single seed; and, in some instances, 2–3 seeds; when one, perhaps, by defect. Each seed is pendulous by a thread, (the raphe,) that rises from the bottom of the cell. Cotyledons leafy, their edges, on one side, and the radicle, in contact.—De Candolle, Prodromus.
HE genus Rhus chiefly consists of deciduous shrubs, generally de with alternate compound leaves, and are natives of Europe, Asia, 9 9 and North and South America. The foliage widely varies, both
in form and size; and, in autumn, before it falls, it changes to a Se yellow, dark-red, or scarlet, on which account, at that season,
do it is highly ornamental. Don, in “Miller's Gardeners' Dictionary," describes ninety-seven species of this genus; but Mr. Loudon was of the opinion that, if it were possible to bring them all together, and cultivate them in the same garden, he questioned much whether there would be found more than a fourth part of them entitled to be considered specifically' or permanently distinct. Most of them are poisonous, some of which are highly so, and probably they all may be used in tanning, and dyeing yellow and black. The species most worthy of note, and which have been cultivated for ornament, or have been applied to useful purposes in the arts, are the Rhus typhina, venenata, aromatica, and copallina, for ornament; and the Rhus radicans, for medicine, in North America; the Rhus cotinus and coriaria, for tanning and dyeing, of the shores of the Mediterranean; and the Rhus vernicifera, or varnish-producing sumac, of Japan and Nepal.